Successes and accomplishments were recognized at Rabiner Treatment Center Thursday as students, staff and family members celebrated graduation.
Two students who live at Rabiner, Aden Teachout and Ivan Larson, received their diplomas from the Manson Northwest Webster Community School District, and two others who were not able to attend were honored as well.
Charles Clayton, director of Athletics for Education and Success, spoke to the graduates about the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity that comes their way.
“Not everybody gets multiple chances to be successful,” Clayton said. “Seize the moment when it’s there rather than think that door will always be open for you. It won’t always be.”
He cautioned students not to fall victim to what he called “the laugh,” which is preferring to act immature rather than growing up and acting responsibly. The name comes from “when the teacher calls on you and you’d rather get a laugh.”
“These two young men decided they were going to be serious with life,” Clayton said. “But some can’t get past the laugh.”
By graduating from high school, Clayton said students will immediately have more opportunities available to them.
“There’s plenty of time to enjoy life,” he said. “It’s time to leave the laugh and allow yourselves to grow up.”
Teachout also gave a brief speech in which he encouraged his fellow students at Rabiner to take advantage of their opportunities.
“Get out of here successfully,” Teachout said. “Don’t take risks that will take away your rights.”
He added, “Don’t be a hardhead … and complete the goals that you set.”
RTC caseworker Chelsey Heim said she was happy to see what the graduates had accomplished.
“It’s very exciting to see them graduate and know that they’re moving on,” she said. “We’re very proud of them.”
The graduates all worked hard to accomplish their goals, according to high school teacher David Carlsen.
“They made progress,” he said. “They came in at the right time and we got them caught up with their academics.”
Michelle Armitage, a middle school teacher, said she’s noticed changes in the young men who graduated Thursday.
“They come in not sure of themselves and they leave with positive feelings that they have the ability to do something,” she said.
Teamwork played a big role in the students’ graduation, according to RTC Principal John O’Brien.
“High school graduation is a team effort,” O’Brien said. “All the young men here have different stories and different backgrounds. We all work together for their high school graduation.”